Newdelhi:15/1/22The Election Commission of India today held separate virtual meetings with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, as also the Chief Electoral Officers of these five polls going States.
Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Shri Rajiv Kumar and Shri Anup Chandra Pandey accompanied by Secretary-General and concerned Deputy Election Commissioners held a comprehensive review of the present status and projected trends of COVID pandemic with special focus in the five poll going states. Vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing vaccination for 1st, 2nd, and booster dose for eligible persons amongst Frontline workers and polling personnel were also reviewed.
The Commission also discussed SDMA’s restrictions and state-specific extant guidelines regulating the norms of a gathering of persons during the period of the pandemic.
Now, therefore, after considering the present situation, facts and circumstances as also the inputs received in these meetings, the Commission has directed as follows:
- No roadshow, Pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession shall be allowed till 22 January 2022. The commission shall subsequently review the situation and issue further instructions accordingly.
- No physical rally of Political parties or candidates (including probable) or any other group related to the election shall be allowed till 22 January 2022.
- However, the Commission has granted relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of maximum of 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by SDMA will be allowed.
- Political parties shall ensure the compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour & guidelines and Model Code of Conduct at all occasions during the activities connected with elections.
- All remaining restrictions as contained in the Revised Broad Guidelines for Conduct of Elections, 2022 issued on 8 January 2022 shall continue to operate.
All concerned State/District authorities shall ensure full compliance with these instructions.